Forsberg heads to Music City
Deal comes after ultimatum from Flyers
The Flyers have given Peter Forsberg a deadline for a decision and it's this weekend.UPDATE Forsberg has been pulled out of the Flyers' line-up for tonight's game, with the speculation having him being dealt to Nashville for a top prospect, a first-round pick and a second-round pick.
Club chairman Ed Snider met with the Swedish center this afternoon and told him he wanted to know before Sunday whether he intends to re-sign with the team or whether he will waive his no-trade clause.
UPDATE TSN reports that the Flyers will receive "Scottie Upshall, Ryan Parent, a first round pick and a third round pick" in exchange for Forsberg.
UPDATE It's a done deal now. Analysis to follow.
UPDATE I like this move from the Predators' perspective. There are a handful of teams for whom this deal makes sense, and Nashville's one of them. With the best record in their conference and a good bet to hold home-ice advantage throughout the postseason, the Predators now boast an incredible seven players with 40+ points.
The biggest downside to the deal from Nashville's perspective is giving up Parent, who has been an integral part of Team Canada's blueline at the past two world junior tournaments. Still, he's not projected to make much of an offensive impact and he doesn't possess the size that would make him an impact defensive defender at the NHL level. At best, Parent looked to eventually slot into the No. 3 role on a Nashville blueline that was full of comparable players.
The Predators are one of the few organizations that has a plethora of young defencemen, and it's from that strength they dealt from.
Upshall, meanwhile, is a different story, and I wouldn't be nearly as concerned with dealing him. For one thing, he's ill-suited (re: smallish) to play the hard-nosed style he used in junior hockey as the captain in Kamloops, where he was an oft bratty and disruptive influence. Upshall was picked far too high in the 2002 draft — ahead of the likes of Joffrey Lupul, Pierre-Marc Bouchard, Keith Ballard, Steve Eminger and Alex Semin — and just isn't going to produce more than 50 points a year at the NHL level.
As for the draft picks, well, the first-rounder will be so deep as to be of negligible value.
This isn't to say Philadelphia didn't make out well. In a lost season, with only 20+ games remaining, the Flyers simply need to sell commodities for future assets, and they did that here in getting Parent alone.
The Western Conference clubs have been the buyers so far (Brad Stuart to Calgary, Ladislav Nagy to Dallas), and Nashville looks really poised to make something happen provided Forsberg is healthy. Here's a look at how he'll slot into the team's depth chart:
Kariya - Forsberg - Erat
Sullivan - Arnott - Dumont
Hartnell - Legwand - Radulov
Nichol - Fiddler - Smithson
With Legwand playing as well as he has been this season, that's as deep a group at centre as there is in the league. The Predators were second in league scoring prior to the deal, and given Upshall had been injured much of the season, don't lose a player from their roster.
It's hard to argue with that. (And pity the low-seeded member of the Northwest Division that sneaks in at the bottom of the Western Conference playoff picture to face this behemoth in Round 1.)